Currently reading: Gordon Murray on making the £2.8m T50 supercar a reality
The man behind the McLaren F1 tells us what it took to create its spiritual successor

The Gordon Murray Automotive T50 is now official: the £2.8 million supercar that's smaller than a Porsche 911, lighter than an Alpine A110 and powered by an atmospheric V12 promises to be a unique machine. But then its creator, the man that designed the iconic McLaren F1, knows a thing or two about doing things differently.

Gordon Murray T50 is V12-powered McLaren F1 successor 

Ahead of the car's debut, Gordon Murray spoke to us about his passion for design, what customers can expect from the T50, and how weight played such a crucial role in its inception.

Why did you build the T50?

“I thought it was time. I wanted my 50th car to be pretty special, and people have been asking for many years what I was going to do after the McLaren F1. This my answer.”

Is the car here the T50 as it will appear in production?

“Yes, we won’t change anything now. We’ve had time to consider everything in a way we didn’t really have with the F1. There are things about the McLaren that I still don’t like, because we signed it off in the clay and you can’t always see the highlights accurately. But this time, we’ve been really careful and methodical, and there’s nothing I don’t like. I think it should look pretty timeless.”

Have you been helped by improvements in materials since the McLaren F1 days?

“Of course. You notice that almost everywhere in the car. But quality and weight-saving aren’t just about exotic materials. Saving weight is a mindset. You have to refuse easy compromises — and then you can get great results. Look at our wheels, for instance. They don’t have to be huge like other supercars’ because the car is light. We laid down an aggressive weight target for them and beat it by about 0.5kg per wheel. That’s 2kg; we’d kill for 2kg.”

Isn’t there a weight-saving story about the pedal box?

“Yes, I designed that myself. At first, I said to the guys: ‘Let’s just do them like we did with the F1’. We’ve already done all the stress calculations and they’re pretty good. But that seemed a bit defeatist. So I did them again and found I could save 300g.”

Has the V12 engine run yet?

“It ran on the dyno last week. We’ll have a complete engine to put into our mule, called George, by the middle of August. Then in September we’ll have two others, XP1 and XP2, and we’ll get serious about testing.”

How many test prototypes will you produce?

Back to top

“We’re building 10. We’ll need one, maybe more, for crash testing. And we also have full programmes planned for places like Nardo and Arjeplog. Those will run right up to the start of building in October next year. But we expect to be able to do the mechanical sign-off next summer.”


Gordon Murray reimagines McLaren F1 as £2.8m T50​

Opinion: Why the Gordon Murray T50 could be a daily driver

Under the skin: How Gordon Murray's T50 V12 will peak at 12,000rpm

Gordon Murray receives CBE for 'services to motoring'

Steve Cropley

Steve Cropley Autocar
Title: Editor-in-chief

Steve Cropley is the oldest of Autocar’s editorial team, or the most experienced if you want to be polite about it. He joined over 30 years ago, and has driven many cars and interviewed many people in half a century in the business. 

Cropley, who regards himself as the magazine’s “long stop”, has seen many changes since Autocar was a print-only affair, but claims that in such a fast moving environment he has little appetite for looking back. 

He has been surprised and delighted by the generous reception afforded the My Week In Cars podcast he makes with long suffering colleague Matt Prior, and calls it the most enjoyable part of his working week.

Join the debate

Add a comment…
Ravon 5 August 2020

I'm with you scrap !

Fabulous effort, congatulations Prof. Murray and Team. Hope you sell the complete run very quickly, guessing that last third left to sell carry much of the profit for the project .

scrap 4 August 2020

Good luck to him. What a

Good luck to him. What a singular man, and what a machine he's built.  

I don't have the money for a supercar anyway, but if I did this would be the one. Possibly with a Huarya and a Porsche Carrera GT to keep it company. All cars built by people who put the engineering first.